"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Sunday, February 20, 2011

HUMMINGBIRDS: And then there were none. . .

     I have learned that Anna's hummingbirds have to be a year old before they can reproduce, so the mother of the ones in our back yard now cannot be one of those (Hummy and Hummus) hatched there last June. She is probably the same mother with a new set of twins. Two days ago the  hummingbabies in our back yard (Humberto and Humberta) looked like this:

     Yesterday, Humberto was alone. (I really don't know which was which; I'm guessing. And the sex cannot be determined for a year. I guess as soon as they determine what gender they are, they find one of the opposite ones and start a family.)
     I've been watching http://phoebeallens.com from which Bea and Jay fledged, three minutes apart, early Valentine's morning. It seemed as if a lot of preliminary fuss and agitation was necessary before actual take-off. Those two chicks were huge, each one big enough to fill the nest, before they finally flew. They constantly paced the ledge of the nest, flapping each other practically out of it and preening nervously between times. (Mama Phoebe was refurbishing a new nest nearby while feeding these two nearly into adolescence. She--or another hummingbird who forced her out, I can't tell for sure from the chat--can be seen sitting on it periodically. I don't think there are any eggs yet or she wouldn't be out and about so much.)
     Anyway, our two weren't that big, so when Humberta disappeared, fledging was the last explanation I came to. I thought of hawks and I thought of falling. I peered off the balcony onto the ground beneath their tree, looking for her little body, relieved when I didn't see it. Our twins hadn't been practicing maneuvers, hadn't seemed at all antsy about the Big Leap but I finally thought maybe Humberta had fledged. (The eggs are often laid a day or two apart, so the birds can hatch and fledge on different days, too.)
     All yesterday Humberto sat alone looking (I thought) pensive. This morning just before we went downstairs for breakfast, he was standing on the edge. Maybe soon, I thought. Sure enough, half an hour later, the nest was empty. All I could see was its soft white lining. (I'd show you but the Powers-That-Be inside my computer wouldn't let me post more than one picture.)
     Since then, I've had glimpses of one of the little ones flitting about the trees, looking smug.    
Today's official post, JESUS: LAMB OF GOD, is below.

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